This report presents data about services directly provided or funded by government, under the Commonwealth/State Disability Agreement (CSDA). These data come from the CSDA Minimum Data Set collection conducted in the second half of 1997, and cover State, Territory and Commonwealth CSDA services. This is the third annual data collection, the first having been undertaken in 1995. Data for 1995 and 1996 have been published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Section 1 provides an overview of the service recipient and service data.

Section 2 describes the data collection, how it was conducted and indicates some of the limitations important for purposes of interpretation.

Sections 3 and 4 give a detailed description of the results of the 1997 data collection, concentrating mainly on national patterns. Data are reported on both the recipients of the services and on the services themselves.

Section 3 covers data collected from 64,432 Consumer Forms, representing people receiving services on the 'snapshot' day. Many service recipients have multiple disabilities, and a consumer can receive more than one service on the 'snapshot' day and therefore fill in more than one Consumer Form. Of service recipients in 1997, 58% were male. Over 67% were reported to have intellectual disability as the primary disability type. Nearly 83% of recipients needed support in activities of daily living. Higher proportions needed support in social and emotional areas. Data on other disabilities, country of birth, Indigenous origin, language, method of communication, living arrangements, income source and State distribution are detailed.

Section 4 covers services provided. A total of 5,759 CSDA services responded to the 1997 CSDA Minimum Data Set collection - a response rate of 97%. Of these services:

  • 3,970 (69%) were provided under a non-government auspice, and 1,788 (31%) under a government auspice;
  • 2,538 of all services were accommodation services, 1,138 were community support services, 900 were employment services, 699 were community access services, and 411 were respite services.

Section 5 presents many of the recently developed performance indicators for disability services, for 1997.

Section 6 contains a discussion of the data quality of the 1997 collection and outlines possible changes to future collections. There are a range of policy and administrative issues likely to affect future collections and the uses to which the data are put.